Hello, and welcome to the bottom up skills podcast. Once again, we are flying through the world of design thinking and today we're going to discuss mapping the user journey and boy, Oh boy. When you create a user journey or sometimes they could use the maps. I can tell you that this file will become one of the most visited most used, most reopened and wait for it.
Most edited documents that you will have in the adventure of building a product. Now, what is so fabulous about user journeys and mapping out the user of the journey is number one. It forces you once again, as design thinking, well, to go back to the user. So instead of thinking about yourself and how you might enjoy an experience, this forces us back once again, to imagine, to understand.
And here's the key word to empathize with our users to understand how they would move from a, to Z through a product experience. Now I'd want to. Tell you why this matters so much. Why, why a user journey is so essential? Well, they often come into the process in the early to mid stages, and this is really essential, particularly on brand new products, because fairly early stages, everyone's just imagining.
A possible product or service. We don't have an existing product to refer to. So having a user user journey is such a powerful way of, of seeing every single step that we imagine a user would go through in our product and use it. Journeys are uniquely powerful in capturing the big picture. Um, if you think about something I've mentioned on this series, and if you jump over to bottom up.io, you'll see there's a whole agile masterclass built around using it stories which have the smallest micro a part of a product.
Then the user journey is the opposite. It's all big picture, baby. This is what is the overall experience it might be made up of three, four, five. Maybe up to 10 big stages going from one through 10 of the overall user experience. And what's so useful about having this in the early stages is it allows them, us to literally point on the board at what we imagine the product will be doing, what they user will be doing to kind of frame the experience before we've actually built it.
Now what's particularly interesting now is just to point out a huge insight for existing products now. I'm going to share with you a little secret of the product world, which is particularly in the digital app space, whether it's a browser based app, a local install or a mobile app is over time. The, both the interaction and the whole operation texture of a piece of software can get a bit messy and out of control.
And what tends to happen is that. We originally, we had an idea about what uses need and, but then all the business requirements came in and then we started doing, uh, what, uh, people in the business wanted. And sometimes we actually juice the quality of the experience for the users. So if you were to. Have a, you know, a gen two, maybe a third version, fourth version of your product.
You might find that it's got a little bit out of control. So coming in and doing a fresh user journey of what you have, and then asking yourself from a to Z. How could we improve this or user journey is like a really great big picture way of improving an existing user experience too. So whether it's brand new or something that you've been working on for years, your product will absolutely ne need our user journey.
So let's dig in now, uh, into what that looks and feels like. And. You know, we are in the magic, uh, medium channel of voice right now. So if you would like a visual companion head over to dot IO and you can download the free master class on design thinking and, uh, you can enjoy, uh, all the slides and templates there.
But I use a journey as a series of steps and it represents. You know, the scenarios in which you're using my interact with the product that you're designing. So traditionally we might have, you know, a user journey that hat points out, sort of maybe a login or sign up in the early stages. Then maybe a number of key feature steps before.
During the key feature and after the key feature. And in addition to that, there may be moments where they have to dip into their account page settings page. And these can get pretty elaborate when you work on some serious sort of, um, deep consumer interaction products or a similarly, I think a lot of enterprise products can get pretty, pretty complex as well now.
So you've got. A series of steps. That's the essence of a user journey. Now what is particularly powerful is this idea of mapping the things, the actions that a user would do, the thinking that's in their mind. Whilst they do that in the particular state. Yeah. And lastly, how they're feeling, because what's quite interesting, uh, as people get onboarded and do things for the first time or they make a high involvement decision around purchase, there can be.
All sorts of emotions, people could be excited, confident, or often they might be apprehensive, anxious, unsure. Um, so if you map those feelings, you can also map it to the thoughts that are in the user's mind, and then the actual things they would be doing, um, in order to complete the task. This is at its essence.
A user journey. So what I quite like is this idea of, you know, you map the essence of what are they doing? What are they thinking? What are they feeling now? What's also, we want to kind of go next level and you want to get pretty elaborate with your journey maps. You can start doing things like this. So let's imagine that the general flow of your.
Journey map goes from awareness. So they kind of come, I mean, uh, to your given product service, um, they might be doing some orientation and consideration, then they have to decide, uh, then they actually maybe make a point or an action or maybe they could content. And then after the experience, there's all sorts of sharing of experiences, loyalty.
Yeah. Applicacy all that kind of good stuff. Now what's particularly, um, powerful if you want to do right. Really extensive customer journey map is you can start to map not only the things that the user is thinking, doing, and feeling, but you can also go deeper and say, how will we measure. This stage, like what are the moments, uh, inside of the product that would suggest success?
So what can you measure some form of task, uh, or stage completion, uh, that shows in your funnel and in your map, people are moving through, but then you could also have business logic. Business rules that apply. You could even have a reference to different parts of the technical architecture that actually generates this now for really complex complex products.
Um, what comes to my mind immediately is the work that we do with a lot of banks. Um, You can have not just one, two, three, four, five, you can have over a dozen systems generating data throughout the customer journey map. And, um, if you're, if you've got high accountability in your phone and you've got all of those, uh, architectural systems mapped up, you can even have the people or the, the leads within the team that are responsible.
So, this is really, really powerful having these maps, particularly in that early to mid stage of building a product. And the last tip I want to give you around how you might think about user journey mapping is one of the most exciting and personally, what I really love doing is to pick out like the really.
Magic moments, the wow moments that are in that and start wireframing them. Now, now frame is, is literally a low-fidelity sketch of the experience. It's not like a fancy finished design. It looks fantastic. Look, if it's done in pencil and paper, All the more power to you. I love it. But then you can start sketching what the interactions, what these user stories inside of the map might look like these little magic moments, and this can present so many insights, so many learnings as you're really starting to break your product down from an idea into features, epics themes, user stories.
So I think. Finding a user journey map. And then let's saying to the team, let's pick the three most important moments in this journey and let's sketch them. Let's let's ask ourselves what could be now for some of you who are doing a billing product a lot. You may even skip the hand drawn sketch and go straight to envision or Adobe XD, or maybe even sketch any of those tools.
You can now put up a really quick wire frame that actually looks pretty good and can serve as a really good tool, almost stimulus for users to give feedback. So. This is what comes off the back of the user, the user journey map. It is so, so valuable because it's in one visual and the key word here being visual journey, you can see the big picture of your experience, and it gives a powerful way for your core team to talk to stakeholders, investors, uh, executive sponsors, you name it about what their vision is and what they'd like to build.
So they have a, that is a dive into, uh, creating a user journey maps. I hope you've really got something that has helped you refine how you do this, or maybe it's introduced you, uh, to not only use a journey mapping, but design thinking overall, if you've really found this interesting, you'd like to know more.
Head over to bottom up.io, where you can get a whole design thinking master closet, and a lot of others completely free for your use. Uh, so getting there, enjoy the world of design thinking. It's just so powerful. It makes sense of the crazy when you're trying to build a product. Alright, my name's Mike Parsons.
I'm the CEO of quality science. It's been great to share this design thinking episode with you. We'll welcome you back for the next episode of bottom up skills podcast.